National Farmers' Federation

Statement on passage of Nature Repair Bill 

Comments attributable to NFF CEO, Tony Mahar 

We welcome the passage of the Nature Repair Bill through the Senate last night. 

The NFF has been a longstanding advocate for the establishment of natural capital markets which can reward farmers for the work they do as stewards of more than half of Australia’s landmass. 

The Nature Repair Bill is one step in the journey to unlock capital so farmers can invest more in caring for their country. 

We’re concerned however that a rushed political deal with the Greens has delivered a weaker bill than we’ve been working towards for almost a decade. It could and should have been much better. 

Farmers would have liked to see protections included for prime agricultural land, and limits on participation by public land assets – the restoration of which should continue to be publicly funded. 

The exclusion of offsets in the final bill is peculiar. As an established function of the EPBC Act, we would have welcomed the increased rigour and transparency of having offsets valued and traded in whatever marketplace ultimately emerges from this new framework. 

The establishment of a functioning marketplace must now be the priority. As we’ve said throughout this process, this legislation does not constitute a marketplace. It simply lays the groundwork for one to be established. 

We look forward to working with the Government to establish a functioning marketplace off the back of this legislation, and will continue to advocate for meaningful funding in the Federal Budget to support a new market in its infancy.